Total knee replacement surgery involves your orthopedic surgeon removing all components of your knee – everything from the topmost part of the lower leg bone (tibia) to the bottom portion of the upper leg bone (femur) – and replacing the components with an internal prosthetic knee. Although this new knee should theoretically not have the same issues of pain and stiffness as before, there can still be complications that cause knee pain and stiffness.
If you’ve had a knee replacement and are experiencing stiffness, let your surgeon know. In the meantime, let’s explore why this can become a problem for knee replacement patients, and where you can go in the Greater Kansas City area for top-notch orthopedic care and treatment for knee pain.
Causes of Joint Stiffness from Knee Replacement Surgery
Knee stiffness could be defined as not being able to straighten or bend the knee normally, and instead feeling tension and pressure. This is normal during the early stages of recovery, as the knee experiences swelling which causes temporary stiffness. This should begin to subside within the first month or so after the operation; if it continues to feel stiff or if the stiffness gets worse, contact your surgeon.
Knee stiffness and pain that can occur after a knee replacement may be because of scar tissue and collagen attaching to the knee implant. This is called arthrofibrosis, and it is your immune system’s reaction to the new “invader” in your knee.
This is one of the most important reasons why patients should commit to their physical therapy program, to regain the range of motion in the knee as soon as possible before scar tissue hardens – after which you will not be able to straighten your knee anymore without further treatment.
To correct these issues, your surgeon may recommend minimally invasive, outpatient knee arthroscopy to remove the excess collagen and scar tissue that are causing your knee stiffness.
Knee Replacement in Greater Kansas City, Kansas
Here at Midwest Orthopaedics, our orthopedic surgeons regularly perform knee replacement surgery – and our patients love the results. Our medical team makes sure that our patients understand the importance of following the recommendations given during physical therapy, which will help them to achieve optimum results from their knee replacement.
Ours is a full-service orthopedic clinic, and we are partnered with physical therapists who know how to help you begin your rehabilitation right away. We will pair you with a physical therapist who will show you how to get your new knee working safely and completely.
If you are interested in finding out about the best solution for your knee pain, contact our friendly staff at Midwest Orthopaedics today by calling us at (913) 362-8317 or by filling out our easy-to-use appointment request form online now. We look forward to helping you get back to your active lifestyle!